Andy Sparrow, David Cooke, Lawrence Wilson, Paul James, Peter Sanders, Rich Nurse, Seán Tidey, Will Puddy
FYI This report is being written thee months late so some of the details may be a little out.
After a bit of last minute route finding due to closed roads the team of Seán, Rich, Will, Andy, Lawrence, Cookie, Peter and PJ parked on the minor road, squashed between two old limestone quarries that links Stoke St. Michael with Holcombe. We kitted up and headed off to find Brownes’ Hole. A cave that most of us had never been in. When we found it after fighting through the undergrowth and mozzies we (who hadn’t been there before) were pleasantly surprised . A large entrance leads to a spacious chamber with an old dig to the left and a maze of passages, squeezes and boulders ahead. This could be described as the Goatchurch of East Mendip. We spent 30-45 minutes just exploring the cave individually or in small groups. The dig to the left of the entrance even had the remains of a small wooden railway in, used, I assume to haul spoil from the dig.
After exploring Brownes’ Hole we went in search of Stoke Lane Slocker, but we were not looking for main entrance we were looking for the newly made (I think) but certainly rarely used second entrance . This is in the NE corner of the SW most and smallest of the three quarries that surround the road. The entrance was an inconspicuous hole in the rock that after a fair bit of crawling and squeezing (I forget anything more specific) brings you out into the Stoke Lane stream way. We think it joins Tributary passage but this was being debated and I don’t think it was ever settled, but it definitely came out in the stream way. From here most of us headed down stream varying distances but I don’t think anyone got to the sump. Eventually, pretty wet most of us (except Andy who knew a dry way out!) mad it out of the original entrance and back to the cars after having done some new cave for everyone I think.
— Seán Tidey 25/10/2023